Northwestern Michigan College launches remotely operated vehicles into Grand Traverse Bay

A remotely operated vehicle (ROV) awaits to be launched into Grand Traverse Bay.

A skilled trades program like no other in the state is right here in Northern Michigan.

Northwestern Michigan Collegeâ??s Marine Technology students launched Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV) into the Grand Traverse Bay.

"The vehicle is a tool that is often used where it's either too deep or too dangerous for humans to go down,â?? said Great Lakes Water Studies Director, Hans VanSumeren.

Students in the Marine Technology Program can earn an associateâ??s degree and even a bachelorâ??s degree. The program employs all the skills related to working in the marine technology industry.

"This degree is allowing these students job opportunities throughout Michigan, throughout the country, and throughout the world," said VanSumeren.

He says NMC is the first to offer this applied training aspect, thanks to the college owning and operating their own harbor.

"They're doing precision training just like they would be doing for a company in the real world,â?? said VanSumeren. â??The way they're piloting and the way that the skills are employed is exactly what they're seeing in the industry."

VanSumeren says itâ??s important that students get this training during all seasons.

"The world and this type of industry doesn't stop just because there's ice or cold weather, so this is very true to life," said VanSumeren.

Water is pumped through large underground tunnels that have to be inspected from time-to-time at a high resolution, thousands of feet below the waterâ??s surface.

"Just getting that first feel of what the rest of the semester is going to be in terms of their labs down here at the harbor,â?? said Fresh Water Studies Student, John Lutchko.

This training allows students to get a precise and accurate measurement of where failure could occur or where something may need repair.

The company that NMC bought the ROV from is the same company that designed the ROV which replaced the cap on the Deep Water Horizon Rig's oil spill in 2010.

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